Indie Gems: The Vicious Kind



Caleb Sinclaire (Adam Scott, 'Step Brothers' 'Party Down') has a lot of problems. We can see it in his face. Literally, the first shot of the film is a close up of Caleb, we see the anger in his eyes, then slowly the hurt. Then as quick as we saw it, he bottles it back up. Caleb is there to pick up his younger brother Peter (Alex Frost 'Elephant' 'Drillbit Taylor') from college to drop him off at their father's house for Thanksgiving. Caleb is bringing along his new girlfriend, Emma. (Brittany Snow 'Hairspray', 'Prom Night') We know a little bit about Caleb at this point, he obviously just got out of a relationship that didn't end well. He tries to convince Peter that his new girlfriend must be a whore "because all girls are whores". He doesn't want Peter to get hurt. When he finally meets Emma, his opinions and actions toward her start out cold, and after a few awkward run-ins he begins to secretly harbor a crush on Emma. His crush then becomes a border-line obsession. Caleb is estranged from his father (played by JK Simmons) he even refuses to drive all the way up the driveway to drop them off. So how well he be able to answer his feelings about Emma when he isn't allowed in the home?

Adam Scott really surprised me in this film. I'm used to his comedies, he was hilarious as Will Ferrell's douchey younger brother in 'Step Brothers' and he provides lots of laughs on the underrated TV series 'Party Down'. This film he's all serious with a few smart ass remarks. Caleb has lots of layers. He's a prick, yet he's troubled. He tries to be nice, then it blows up in his face. He's intriguing and yet uninviting at times. This was a damn good performance on his part. His facial expressions speak for themselves, and even though we don't warm up to Caleb's character right away, Scott makes him more likable. Brittany Snow also showed she's more than just a pretty face. She handled her part of curious and sweet Emma perfectly. JK Simmons, though his part is small is a nice touch and a familiar face. The only one that struggles is Frost, but it's not really his fault. His character is over shadowed by Caleb and Emma's. It truly is there story. Caleb's co-worker/friend is J.T (Vittorio Brahm) and he's perfect as the lovable dumb guy. He really brings a much needed "adorable" to this dark film.

This was filmed in Connecticut during the fall/winter. It's a pretty side of the US and it's nice to see that used in a film. I liked how the director played music over some parts where the characters are arguing. You can't hear what they are saying, maybe you get a few words in here and there. Their actions tell the story, while the zen music takes you along. I enjoyed the soundtrack in the film and thought it fit perfectly. What I also liked was how at the beginning of the film I was a little cold towards Caleb and how he felt for Emma, then throughout the film I began to root for it. I'm not sure if that's what the film intended, but it made the suspense of it all even better. The film is on the shorter side, about an hour and a half, but in that amount of time you get all the info you need on these characters with virtually no plot holes.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Just don't break his heart, ok?" - Caleb Sinclaire (Adam Scott)

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